Revelation 4.5-11 – People and Living Creatures

5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:

7 the first living creature like a lion,

the second living creature like an ox,

the third living creature with the face of a man,

and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.

8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,

who was and is and is to come!”

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.”

Today there are people and living creatures present, present in heaven with the Lord God Almighty (which, by the way, is a triple strength superlative for our great God; Lord, God, Almighty). There is life in heaven!

The first person present is the person of the Holy Spirit; before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God.The Holy Spirit is a visible presence in heaven, quite a contrast to His current role as the active member of the Godhead in the world today, unseen but very present and at work.

There are also cherubim present, angels of the Lord God Almighty. Not people, but living creatures. Could they be the creature Ezekiel saw in Ezekiel 1.4-14 and 10.20.22? Quite possibly. Quite possibly they are the cherubim of the Lord God Almighty. What are cherubim? This sums it up well,

The cherubim serve the purpose of magnifying the holiness and power of God. This is one of their main responsibilities throughout the Bible. In addition to singing God’s praises, they also serve as a visible reminder of the majesty and glory of God and His abiding presence with His people.”

So, we have the visible presence of the Holy Spirit, cherubim magnifying the holiness and power of God through constant worship, and we have people. The twenty four elders (12 tribes and 12 apostles) are also engaged in this never ending cycle of worship of God,

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.”

Basically, then, all the time!

The elders are definitely people, not more angels. God has promised those who love Him a place in this eternal forever. Paul had a firm grasp on this truth;

Romans 8.16-17

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

2 Timothy 2.11-13

The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

if we endure, we will also reign with him;

if we deny him, he also will deny us;

if we are faithless, he remains faithful– for he cannot deny himself.

 

The question today then, is, do we want to find ourselves part of this never ending cycle of worship in heaven?

Do we want to see and experience this all first hand, with our own senses?

 

If we do, the Word of God is so clear on what we must to ensure this, Romans 10 reads

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.

6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

 

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